Brazil at War
Applauding Brazil for joining the Allies and declaring war against Germany, this film works to show Brazil's similarities to America. Cutting back and forth between Leni Riefenstahl-esque images of soldiers and the Brazilian crew team (low angles, jagged mountains in the background, half-naked men), it also emphasizes the "cosmopolitan" and "modern" nature of Rio.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, World War II, soldiers, rowing team, Getulio Vargas
Subject: The real role of Brazil in the WWII
"Relations between the Brazilian troops and the Americans were sometimes tense. It was awkward for the Brazilians to be totally dependent on the American forces for training, clothing, arms, equipment, and food. The American stress on training, training, and more training, even of frontline personnel, bemused the Brazilians. It was a clash between two cultures, one that so believed in education that its army's terminology was drawn from the language of the school house, and the other that left most of its people unschooled. The outcome was a successful example of coalition warfare, which always requires determined effort and understanding to blend national styles into a winning combination. But the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB) went beyond the standard idea of coalition warfare because of its total integration into the American army. It was not a colonial unit, as were the British Indian ones, or a Commonwealth military, such as the Canadian, New Zealander, or South African, nor a Free "this or that," such as the Polish or French contingents. lt was a division from an army of an independent, sovereign state that voluntarily placed its men and women under United States command. The connection could not have been tighter and still have preserved the FEB's integrity of command and its Brazilian identity. It never lost either."
This is the true!
American air bases in the country during the war were the seedbed of Brazil's homegrown aerospace industry. After the war, a sector of Brazil's large Japanese population denied that Japan had been defeated in the war, and continued to do so for a decade. Much of the leadership of Brazil's military dictatorship (1964-1984) came from the ranks of its WWII Expeditionary Force, including its President Dutra.
Brazil had a significant German population before the war; the supermodel Gisele, it is said, is a perfect example of what you get when you feed German stock a Brazilian diet. However, a number of studies show that Argentina, not Brazil, was the main destination of former S.S. men and other war criminals, the film "Boys from Brazil" notwithstanding. Bigtime Nazis who ended up there generally entered after arriving in the region on Argentine passports issued in Barcelona in 1945. In 1997, the Brazilian government identified 17 bank accounts linked to Nazi war criminals who ended up there. It seized those accounts and paid them into a fund for Holocaust survivors.
That said, this film will probsbly be of more interest to Brazilians than to Americans.
Subject: Well, the Rest of the World Was at War, I Guess They Felt They Had to Jump on the Bandwagon, Too...
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: *. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Ratings: **.
Subject: Remember the Braziliians?